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Newbie 1st Post - Soldering Iron Advice

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by CubeRider, Mar 15, 2013.

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  1. CubeRider

    CubeRider

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    Mar 15, 2013
    Hey guys.

    I'm Matt, 36 from Nottinghamshire UK.

    I have decided that I want to take up Electronics as a hobby as I find it fascinating.

    So first port of call, I feel I should get a soldering iron, while I have seen a few online I am at a loss as to what I need to be looking for, choosing the right one is not as easy as it seems.

    Some are higher watts than others, 50w, 70w etc, some say they offer reworking ? huh ? some say infrared soldering, others come with hot air guns while others say they unsolder.

    So now I am really confused...

    The one I have had my eye on has been this one :
    http://www.maplin.co.uk/60w-professional-lcd-solder-station-with-esd-protection-511927

    However a quick look on ebay and I see ones cheaper offering all sorts more like hot air guns but I am not sure if they are reliable units.

    If someone could suggest a decent soldering iron for around £60-ish to get me well on my way as I don't want to have to buy one twice, I would be most grateful.


    Thanks in advance.

    Matt :D
     
  2. BobK

    BobK

    7,682
    1,688
    Jan 5, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  3. CubeRider

    CubeRider

    32
    0
    Mar 15, 2013
    Hey Bob.

    Thanks for the message.

    So do you think that one is overkill ? and do you know what the benefits are of a higher wattage soldering iron ?

    I am unsure about the tips and which solder to use too, am totally starting from scratch here, but I cannot get a test kit to practice on until I have a adequate soldering iron so I feel I should start there :)
     
  4. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

    842
    6
    Feb 9, 2012
    I have always used Weller, they are some of the most common, and the tips are easy to find, and they are reliable (my father has one that is from 1984 and it still works perfectly)

    The one that Bob listed is the one that I have.

    The tip that you will use is going to be determined by the job youre working on, a smaller tip for smaller solder/more precise heat control, like if you were doing surface mount or something (though that will come way later) and larger tips for larger things, like soldering a heat sync to a board or something, as it will heat more faster

    As for temperature readout you dont need it that much, I generally have mine set in the 700 range (2/3rds-3/4ths the way to fully on) unless I need a large area to melt.

    the higher wattage ones will just heat faster and hold temperature better (theoretically anyways, there are some 50W wellers that get to temp in a matter of seconds, with other off brand ones that are 70W that take 5-10 minutes)

    The solder to use is resin core standard solder, I prefer .05" to .031" since it tends to be slightly stiffer (easier to put it where you need it rather than have it sag) but melts just the same, you can really just get the cheapest you can find to start out, just be wary of leaded, Im not particularly worried about it but I know some people are so there are tons of leadless solders
     
  5. CubeRider

    CubeRider

    32
    0
    Mar 15, 2013
    Thanks Bob/GreenGiant :)

    Sounds like Weller is just the ticket, i'll put google to good use see what I can find.

    Many thanks :D
     
  6. Miguel Lopez

    Miguel Lopez

    252
    63
    Jan 25, 2012
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